Liverpool set to allow two players to leave in January as Jurgen Klopp eyes Minamino deal

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Liverpool are set for some business in January as Jurgen Klopp eyes new recruits and new clubs for a number of outcasts.

Liverpool are preparing to loan both Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones out in January as they look set to wrap up a deal for Red Bull Salzburg star Takumi Minamino. Both youngsters are keen to make first team breakthroughs and are likely to move on to gain short-terms experience.

Both are set to play in the Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa next week with Liverpool sending the first team squad to Qatar for the Club World Cup.

But with a deal for Minamino in the works, Liverpool are hopeful of getting Brewster and Jones out to get some much needed senior experience.

Jones made his Premier League debut against Bournemouth last week and was on the bench when Liverpool beat Salzburg on Tuesday, the only other times he has featured this term came in the League Cup against MK Dons and Arsenal.

Brewster has also been restricted to League Cup appearances also against MK Dons and Arsenal, but has been linked with Premier League clubs.

Crystal Palace were said to be keen however Swansea are the most likely suitor at the moment.

Liverpool are believed to be close to wrapping up a deal to sign Minamino in January and will trigger his £7.25m release clause.

Minamino impressed against Liverpool on Tuesday night and club officials were surprised to learn of his low level release clause.

The Reds have also been linked with Jadon Sancho and Kylian Mbappe in recent weeks but Minamino appears to be a cheaper alternative to bolster their forward line in January.

A move for Sancho or Mbappe was always more likely in the summer anyway, but the deal for Minamino could mean the likes of Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri fall even further down the pecking order.

Liverpool are on course for their first Premier League title in 30 years and Jurgen Klopp is keen to ensure he has enough fire power to last the distance.

Liverpool are already eight points clear in top spot and are 14 points clear of champions Manchester City.

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And Klopp was complimentary of Minamino’s Salzburg side after beating them 2-0 on Wednesday to confirm their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“I couldn’t have more respect for what Salzburg is doing,” said Klopp. “I know how people see it – you think being the best team in Austria is ‘OK’.

“Then you see how good they are, how good they were in the first game [the Reds won 4-3 at Anfield], how good they were against Napoli and Genk and then you could come here as the current Champions League winner and misunderstand that situation.

“And I love it, I really love it that my team is so smart that they listen and they put in a shift in like that. Salzburg was unbelievably strong, especially in the first half, but we as well were ready for that fight.”

Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch likened the fixture to a boxing match, but said they got caught at the wrong moment.

“It was a bit like a heavyweight boxing contest,” he said. “We fought really hard, but they fought back. In the end they got two more punches in. That’s how close the margin is between victory and defeat in the Champions League.

“We are very disappointed, as we played really good football, and we probably couldn’t have played any better than in the first half.

“At the moment the disappointment is dominating, but in a couple of days we will be very proud.”

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